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Asian shares mixed as Huawei sanctions stir trade fears

May 17, 2019
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People walk past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, May 17, 2019. Asian stocks were mixed on Friday amid worries that U.S. economic sanctions on Huawei would put a drag on trade negotiations with China. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
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People walk past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, May 17, 2019. Asian stocks were mixed on Friday amid worries that U.S. economic sanctions on Huawei would put a drag on trade negotiations with China. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

SINGAPORE (AP) — Asian stocks were mixed on Friday amid worries that U.S. economic sanctions on Huawei would cast a pall on trade negotiations with China.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.4% to 28,161.89 while Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.6% to 21,391.53. The Kospi in South Korea added 0.2% to 2,072.27.

The Shanghai Composite lost 1% to 2,926.27 and Australia’s S&P ASX 200 advanced 0.7% to 6,374.80. Shares rose in Taiwan but fell in Singapore and Indonesia.

An executive order by the Trump administration, aimed at banning Huawei equipment from U.S. networks, took effect on Thursday. The order also subjects the Chinese telecommunications giant to strict export controls. China has threatened to retaliate. It remains to be seen how the move will affect trade negotiations.

Some investors took cues from Wall Street, which closed higher for the third straight day, led by strong performances from technology companies and banks.

The broad S&P 500 index climbed 0.9% to 2,876.32 on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8% to 25,862.68 and the Nasdaq composite rebounded 1% to 7,898.05. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks was 0.6% higher at 1,557.24.

“The street appears to have temporarily given up trying to predict the fluid situation that is U.S.-China trade relations and concentrate on the here and now,” Jeffrey Halley of OANDA said in a commentary.

“The march higher will be tentative at best though with sentiment both incredibly cautious and fragile,” he added.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 45 cents to $63.32 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It picked up 85 cents to $62.87 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, the international standard, added 39 cents to $73.01 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar edged up to 109.86 Japanese yen from 109.85 yen late Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.1181 from $1.1178.

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